2018 BLANCPAIN GT SERIES ASIA
For its second season the championship sticks with the same six tried and trusted venues as 2017. These, SRO believes, represent the best viable circuits across Asia.
Amongst their number are four current or former Formula 1 facilities, one of which – Sepang – opens the campaign in mid-April. Buriram’s new MotoGP venue, Chang International Circuit, hosts Thailand’s round a month later before Suzuka stages the first leg of Japan’s double header at the start of July. Fuji is next up three weeks later before two Chinese events – at Shanghai and Zhejiang (to be confirmed), respectively – bring the season to a close.
All six venues will stage two 60-minute races, just like in 2017. None of Asia’s 2018 dates clash with the European-based Blancpain GT Series, ensuring more factory drivers and staff will be available to work across both if they so wish. The two-month gap between Fuji and Shanghai also provides teams and drivers with ample time to prepare for the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours, which will become the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s designated Asian round from 2018.
SRO’s global GT championship – the Intercontinental GT Challenge – enters its third season in 2018 and also welcomes an all-new Asian event.
The series’ purpose couldn’t be simpler: reward the manufacturer and drivers who achieve the best collective results in the world’s biggest and best endurance events.
GT3’s proliferation, built on a decade of manufacturer involvement and SRO’s Balance of Performance stability, has resulted in it becoming the de facto senior class for all of the world’s most prestigious GT races. This, as well as using the same Pirelli tyres, offers manufacturers an incentive to compete in all such events by employing regional customer teams without the expense of freighting cars around the world. Equally, regional teams and drivers can also test themselves against their international counterparts on home soil. In 2018, the inaugural Suzuka 10 Hours becomes the IGTC’s designated Asian round, thus offering Blancpain GT Series Asia regulars – who will have visited the same venue just two months earlier – a rare chance to compete as a fully factorysupported outfit. It’s also the first time that FIA GT3 cars will have raced internationally against their Super GT JAF-spec counterparts. The season begins with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia before moving on to Belgium for the Total 24 Hours of Spa. Suzuka’s iconic figure-of-eight layout is up next ahead of Laguna Seca’s season finale: the Mazda Raceway California 8 Hours. All races other than Bathurst are administered by SRO.